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With the economy being what it is, everyone's looking to cut costs. And as it turns out, making simple changes around the house is one of the best ways to save money.
Here are some money-saving tips that can help you keep your wallet fat and expenses low.
First Things First: The "B" Word
Wouldn't it be nice to trot the globe, whipping out the credit card whenever you liked without worrying about a spending limit? Unless you're a millionaire, you don't have that luxury. To make certain you have enough money to pay the bills, you have to take drastic measures: you must set a budget.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recommends these steps for creating a budget:
1. Start by listing all your income
2. List your "fixed" expenses--like mortgage payments or rent, car payments, and insurance premiums
3. List the expenses that vary--like entertainment, recreation, and clothing
By identifying necessary expenses (and prioritizing the rest) you can make ends meet on the basics: housing, food, health care, insurance and education, and create plans to save money and pay down debt.
Go Green on Utilities, and Save
Try some ‘green' home tips to keep more cash in your checking account. According to the Department of Energy, a programmable thermostat can save you up to 30% on your electric bill. Experts suggest keeping the winter temperature around 68 degrees when you're home and 60 degrees when you're gone. For the summer, keep the temperature around 75 degrees when at home and 80 degrees when you're gone.
If you're looking to skip the thermostat altogether, you can bundle up in a blanket or build a fire in the winter and turn on a fan in the summer. Save money on your electric bill by turning off unused appliances and turning out the lights when you aren't in the room.
Become Mr. or Ms. Fix-It
Instead of running straight to the yellow pages for a handyman when the toilet is busted, ask a friend who is great at fixing things to help. If you don't have time to deal with a leaking faucet immediately, put a bucket under it to collect the water and use it to water plants. If your carpets need a good scrubbing, it may be cheaper to rent a carpet steamer and clean them yourself instead of hiring a professional. Do you have a yard maintenance service? Save a chunk of change by mowing your own lawn-it will give you some good exercise, too.
The information contained on or provided through this site is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional financial or accounting advice. Always seek the advice of your accountant or other qualified personal finance advisor for answers to any related questions you may have. Use of this site and any information contained on or provided through this site is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.